Right Before Launch


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“I remember when I graduated from college and was left so mad at the result. I was mad I didn’t have a job. Everybody from UGA leaves with a job right?

So I stayed with my parents, which to me was not a big deal.

Then I got my first real job ever. This was also the worst job ever!

When I got my second job I also hated it, maybe even more than the first one to be honest.

My third job was in a call center and this was LEGIT was the worst job ever… 

And then I was thinking, Oh snap bruh, I just don’t like jobs, I’m just not good at them. I’m at work thinking that I should have just stayed with my parents. If being successful involved me working a 9-5 everyday. I will NEVER be successful.”

life is like soccer. If you’re going to be successful , You’re going to need a lot of goals.


Right Before Success:

There is a life where you can bank on 4 hours of sleep. After you have to go to work for 10 hours, you don’t just go home and go back to sleep because there is always another show or something to do. The day ranges from 7 pm to about 1am, and all of this takes place AFTER you get off of work. Tevin (Mandal) Williams puts in all the time he can to perfect his craft in this life because it is something he truly enjoys.

So we can just say Mandal got his start on February 18, 2016. At least that’s when he decided to invest his future success into comedy. It all started off with an open mic where he did fairly decent and then he went to the next show…

And the next show was awful. When Tevin performed at Laughing Skull for the first time, he realized this was something he wanted to devote his life to, but not without a renewed commitment to the craft. As much as comedy makes so little sense, it just made sense to him! The real moment that really made it all come together was when he won an amateur contest and got paid $75!

That was my favorite $75 I ever received. -Tevin Williams

That was an amazing feeling but it was a feeling of clarity. At the moment, he actually had a felling that he was doing something right. That moment, a moment of clarity is one that we all should strive to find sooner versus later. When you experience moments Right Before success, normally the work does not get harder but it only becomes easier because you are moving towards your goal and something you are passionate about.

“I’m basically trying to be the George Clinton of Stand up.”


Do you ever feel like not doing it?

“Two times, I only did it twice and I felt really bad. Even when I don’t want to go perform, I go because I understand the importance of perseverance and dedicating myself to something I believe in.”

“Comedy is more than just the LOL to me. It’s art.”

“I was hanging with Zeta Pi chapter after a wedding, and I wasn’t even in the show that I was going to visit. I wanted to go, just to be in the environment. “Everybody was like dang bro. we was having a good time.”

I don’t know what happened but they were like, Mandal can you give us 3 minutes…. “right now”. [The host] walked off the stage to introduce me before I could even really consider.

I went up there and just killed it! Got off stage and was like bruh, if I had decided to stay at home.

The only times I miss now are if I am writing. Other than that, it’s every night!

Signs of progress?

When talking to Mandal, We talked about the dedication it takes to become a comedian. Usually it takes around a decade before seeing big gains. However, Mandal is “devoted” to the craft, willing to sacrifice time for the benefit of progress. Sometimes he is nervous about the long term results of such a lifestyle. The long term mindset can be draining. Watching everyone around in their corporate jobs and traditional lifestyle is only a part of the added social pressure on Williams.

While most people are going out drinking or socializing with friends, he is on a stage engaging the audience. Most shows are not paid, so not only comedy isn’t very lucrative at first, but kind of expensive.

One of the benefits of comedy is the straight forward path to success that most people acknowledge. First there are paid shows, residencies that come for a long duration at a club, festivals, and varying levels in between. Comedians are able to progress through different “checkpoints” in their career.




If I was 28, and I had some tiny apartment, and I making enough to pay my bills, but my source of income was strictly doing what I love. I Wouldn’t be jealous of some Kenny Duncan Enron or Wake Up Now scandal. I would truly be fulfilled.

Success in comedy is abstract to the majority of people reading this article. Sure many of us can name people such as Dave Chappelle, Kevin Hart, Adam Sandler, and a handful of others who have given their lives for the entertainment of others. I am beyond confident that hard work will be the great equalizer for Mandal. Without hesitation, I know that anybody who has found something they are really passionate about, has found something that can endure a lifetime. He currently runs two shows at the Speakeasy open mic every Sunday. He is also at Mammal Gallery every last Wednesday. I know that these residencies are only the beginning. When things get tough and difficult, that is usually the time that people tend to quit. There is no quit in Tevin “Mandal” Williams.

It’s like being a pirate finding his parrot, it just works.


-Kenneth Duncan


Kenneth Duncan is the founder of Right Before and a regular contributor. He focuses on the education of financial literacy in underprivileged communities.

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